Series : Cyclone #1
Publisher : Courtney Milan
Genre : New Adult | Romance
Page Count: 279
Synopsis : Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.
To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.
But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart…but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life. (From Goodreads)
Content Warning: Eating disorder, drug abuse.
Today I am presenting you with a book I read in one sitting. ONE. Granted, I had no internet to distract me, but it’s still a lot for me. That almost never happens and that’s how hooked to the book I was. I was so invested I couldn’t put it down. Trade Me was such an adorable, fun and sometimes very serious ride.
Not gonna lie, the writing took me by surprise, I always expect NA writing to be just… there but this was really smooth and beautiful, while staying on the simple side. It is also personal –meaning both MCs have distinct voices that you can’t possibly mix up- as well as charged with emotions.
I loved the romance, I really did, so so much and part of the reason is because I could relate with some of the heroine’s action and most of the tension came from that. There was also a lot of chemistry going on between the two and the banter is easy and funny, the conversation flows easily with angst when angst is needed, serious talk when that is needed and fun and playfulness when those are needed. In my opinion, it was a perfect balance between all those things. AND THE TEXTS !! I lived for those little bits of conversation because they actually revealed a lot about their relationship towards the beginning than live interactions since they let themselves be vulnerable behind screens. One last bit about the romance, IT HAS A BIT OF FAKE DATING, it’s not the whole plot but it happens towards the beginning.
Tina is me in so many ways. Okay, in one way: the “can’t get hurt, can’t get distracted so I flee” way hah. No, but joke aside, Tina is a Chinese-american girl who grew up/is still poor and although I can’t speak for how accurate that rep is, all I can say is that poverty wasn’t just mentioned and brushed aside, it influenced most if not all her decisions and how she went about things. She’s really smart and pragmatic, and I really loved that about her, as well as the fact that she doesn’t let anyone step on her, she stands up for herself and doesn’t shy away from expressing her opinions loud and clear even when she’s hella scared inside.
Blake, sweet sweet Blake and how I adored him. He’s an asshole appearing billionaire but once he opens his mouth, you see how big of a dork he is and how he is down to earth and doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s also cocky but not the insufferable kind but the sweet kind that makes you grin. What was different from the usual boy meets girl is that he noticed her MONTHS before they talked and has been crushing on her ever since and that was so adorable to read from his POV it just made me melt into a puddle.
Something I really appreciated about Trade Me is how wholesome of a story it is. It’s main focus is for sure the romance but the characters have side stories of their own, with relationships that Milan doesn’t fail to show and exploit the dynamics of. Even the side characters leavve a lasting impression because of how well fleshed out they are. Especially Blake’s father, Adam, he’s such a brilliant asshole and that was so entertaining to read, I couldn’t get enough of the guy who teaches little kids to curse in his son’s class, a son that he loves above all and he isn’t afraid to show it. This isn’t the busy father who doesn’t make time for his kid trope, this is the father that drops everything and makes his kid his priority.
The little I got to read about Maria –Tina’s best friend- I loved and I can’t wait to get to book 2 to learn all about her and see her have her own cute romance and see how that one plays out.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Trade Me? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.